Lt. Gov. Jon Husted is refusing to apologize for a tweet last week referencing "the Wuhan virus" that drew criticism for being tone-deaf during a time of rising violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
The violence has been blamed in part on former president Donald Trump's characterization of COVID-19 as "the China virus" or "the kung flu". Husted says his tweet was in response to an interview with a former CDC official who speculated that COVID-19 came from a Chinese laboratory.
"Wuhan is inseparable from the story. Because Wuhan is where the first case was documented; it's where the lab that exists that's doing research to make viruses more aggressive. Wuhan is not an ethnicity, it is a city. My words were directed at what I believe is a probable cover up by the Chinese government for a virus that has killed 2.7 million people."
Earlier this week several Asian American residents of Husted's Upper Arlington neighborhood published a letter to the Lieutenant Governor, saying his comments contributed to anti-AAPI violence and made them fearful for their children's safety.